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Meditation and mindfulness
In the Buddha's great discourse on the practice of mindfulness, the Maha-Satipatthana Sutta, both the object and the means of attaining it are clearly set forth. Attentiveness to the movements of the body, to the ever-changing states of the mind, is to be cultivated in order that their real nature should be known. Instead of identifying these physical and mental phenomena with the false concept of "self," we are to see them as they really are: movements of a physical body, an aggregate of the four elements, ('mahabhutas') subject to physical laws of causality on the one hand, and on the other, a flux of successive phases of consciousness arising and passing away in response to external stimuli. They are to be viewed objectively, as though they were processes not associated with ourselves but belonging to another order of phenomena.
Buddhist Meditation : true self
From what can selfishness and egotism proceed if not from the concept of "self" ('sakkayaditthi')? If the practice of any form of meditation leaves selfishness or egotism unabated, it has not been successful. A tree is judged by its fruits and a man by his actions; there is no other criterion. Particularly is this true in Buddhist psychology, because the man 'is' his actions. In the truest sense they, or the continuity of kamma and 'vipaka' which they represent, are the only claim he can make to any persistent identity, not only through the different phases of this life but also from one life to another. Attentiveness with regard to body and mind serves to break down the illusion of self; and not only that, it also cuts off craving and attachment to external objects, so that ultimately there is neither the "self" that craves nor any object of craving. It is a long and arduous discipline, and one that can only be undertaken in retirement from the world and its cares. Yet even a temporary retirement, a temporary course of this discipline, can bear good results in that it establishes an attitude of mind which can be applied to some degree in the ordinary situations of life.
Buddhist Meditations: Detachment & Concentration
Detachment, objectivity, is an invaluable aid to clear thinking; it enables a man to sum up a given situation without bias, personal or otherwise, and to act in that situation with courage and discretion. Another gift it bestows is that of concentration -- the ability to focus the mind and keep it steadily fixed on a single point ('ekaggata', or one-pointedness), and this is the great secret of success in any undertaking. The mind is hard to tame; it roams here and there restlessly as the wind, or like an untamed horse, but when it is fully under control, it is the most powerful instrument in the whole universe. He who has mastered his own mind is indeed master of the Three Worlds.
In the first place he is without fear. Fear arises because we associate mind and body ('nama-rupa') with "self"; consequently any harm to either is considered to be harm done to oneself. But he who has broken down this illusion by realizing that the five 'khandha' process is merely the manifestation of cause and effect, does not fear death or misfortune. He remains equable alike in success and failure, unaffected by praise or blame. The only thing he fears is demeritorious action, because he knows that no thing or person in the world can harm him except himself, and as his detachment increases, he becomes less and less liable to demeritorious deeds. Unwholesome action comes of an unwholesome mind, and as the mind becomes purified with Meditation, healed of its disorders, bad kamma ceases to accumulate. He comes to have a horror of wrong action and to take greater and greater delight in those deeds that are rooted in 'alobha', 'adosa', and 'amoha' -- generosity, benevolence and wisdom.
All the contents in this section are taken from Buddhist Meditation by Francis Story published by Buddhist Publication Society, Sri Lanka, 1986.
Be a light to others and you wont stumble on your own path. Meditation is a process of careful thought consideration.
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